surviving the blues

CommentAuthorlotus CommentTime6 minutes ago edit Report Post
Well this is my first time on the forum-so here goes. I was diagnosed aug last year, a month later my daughter was also diagnosed. We went thro our ops together, both had chemo together and have since had further surgery.

Every professional we saw was astounded by our experience, after all how bizarre is it for mother and daughter to go off to chemo and such like together. We stumbled through. At times I felt huge guilt, as a mother I was not there when my daughter needed me most and for her, she had to see me go through this as well, and at times tried to protect me.

Our lives have changed forever and I think I am slowly comming to terms with this new reality. I spend many hours crying for both of us and what we have been through, she, being younger and still having treatment is angry.

Our relationship took on a new intimacy, far beyond the normal boundaries of mother and daughter relationship as we swaped tales of side effects and suchlike… As this experience brought us together during treatment, it has now separated us as we both learn to cope with this whole experience.

For now it seems we cannot discuss B.C. as she wants “normality” and I now realise that we have to find a new way forward. Our lives before B.C. has gone.

Every step of this journey has been so complicated and now my time for healing is complicated by seeing her go throu herceptin. Any time we spend together is fraught and short lived. Oh yes I understand, she can’t bear to be reminded, and seeing me does just that.

My questions to you all are

Will I ever stop crying?

How do I get back a sense of “normality”?

Has anybody had a similar experience to this?

It has been a great comfort to read some of your experiences, I don’t feel so isolated knowing some of you are feeling “out of sorts” and am glad I eventually plucked the courage to join this forum.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Lotus 1 to 14 of 14

Wow what a tale. I’m still going through treatment myself so probably lack the perspective needed to give any good advice but I know my mum has struggled with me being diagnosed and has even said that she wishes it were her not me (I certainly don’t).

I think you’ve got a double whammy to deal with here and I would be seeking professional help to deal with the load you’ve been dealt, or maybe the peer support service this site offers (see the home page or I’m sure one of the moderators will give the details).

I doubt it’s just a case of seeing you reminds her, I expect she’s also trying to work out what to make of all of this and how to live the rest of her life, I know I am, I know I feel cheated and knowing that everyone else here is too doesn’t really help, I want all our lives back for all of us.

I know several people who are many years on from daignosis and they all tell me that a sense of normality does return eventually but I think we all do have to ask ourselves what we want out of life now in a way that maybe we never did before. I for one was bumbling along behaving like I have all the time in the world and maybe I will still live to be a ripe old age who knows but I don’t take that for granted now and that’s not all bad for me.

It sounds like you’re quite a way through treatment… how long ago did you finish chemo?

My Mum’s a homeopath and has talked to a lot of people about what she can do to help me recover after all this and has warned me that they all said that I will be wrung out by the end and it will take longer to recover than I expect so I’m not expecting to just bounce back but I know I desperately want to ASAP, perhaps you’re feeling that a bit too.

There’s a wonderful article by a Dr Peter Harvey about After treatment has finished that’s worth a read I’ll send you a link privately in a minute it sounds like you could benefit from it. I found it very helpful.

Best of luck to you and your daughter… I’m sure you’ll end up close again but maybe she needs to work a few things out and needs to do that in a different way to you. I know my mum and I are approaching this slightly differently.

Lots of love

Angie

Hi Lotus

What an awful time you have had. I am so sorry.

I was dx in 2005 and had all the treatments . I can honestly say that, without wanting to depress you, it takes a long long time for "“normality” to return. I was bad for 2 years afterwards and it is only this year that I have started to feel OK.

Dont expect too much too soon. You will get there but it is a long road.

Take Care

Love Alise x

i really feel for you I think it must be so hard to watch your child go through it… i hope it gets better for you really soon

Hi Lotus and welcome to the BCC forums

As Angie has kindly suggested, there are a couple of Breast Cancer Care’s support services that might be of interest to you as they can offer help and support via the telephone in addition to the support you have here.

The first is Breast Cancer Care’s telephone support group. It’s a chance to get together once a week to talk with people who’ve been there. Linked together by phone in comfortable surroundings, you can express your feelings and discuss the practical and emotional impact of living with breast cancer. The groups will be particularly useful for you if you feel isolated. The groups are completely free (we pay for the phone calls) and as long as you have access to a phone and have a quiet private place from which to call, you can join us from anywhere in the UK.

There is also Breast Cancer Care’s peer support service. The telephone service aims to quickly put you in touch with one of our trained peer supporters, who has had a personal experience of breast cancer. Our peer supporters are from diverse backgrounds and ages and have experienced different types of breast cancer and treatments. They are ready to listen, offer skilled emotional support and share their experiences and understanding.

For more information about these and our other support services available to you, please telephone our helpline on 0808 800 6000 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm) or email:

I hope this helps

Best wishes
Lucy

WOW, how lovely it is to hear your responses, Angie the article was very helpful. I know the return to normality, what ever that maybe will be a long process and during moments of greater insight and sanity I can accept that. It is those moments when I think of my daughter and my heart just bursts… how unfair this has all been on her. She has big challanges ahead and after all, she is in my heart still my little girl!!

My treatment, well I ended up having a double mastectomy, after my family history was explored. My daughter had a single mastectomy and reconstruction and is due to have her other breat dealt with soon. I am due to have my ovaries out in the next month or so, again as a precaution. I do wonder what will be left of me!!

My sister is going to have her ovaries out as a precaution and I have another daughter in Australia, who now needs to come to terms with the fact she is also at risk and will need to take some action… As you can see this is a complicated seranio, and some days it all feels too much… but hey I was never one to shy away from a challange and know I will get through. You will all be glad to know I have at least stopped crying for now-thankyou.

Hi Lotus,

I cab really identify with your and your daughters situation. I was dx oct 2006 and 6 months later my mum requested a mammo, just out of screening programme at 66, and she had a smaller area of bc but with an unpalpable lump…thank goodness she did!..we both did chemo and whilst ive finished herceptin she has 3 to go…I had the genetics test a few months ago but no results yet. Weve been through hell since 2002 when dad died suddenly although he had prostate cancer was doing well, i got divorced, my ex bankrupt and lost his business, lost my house and 3 young kids and ex hubby had a mental breakdown and doesnt contribute to kids…

my mum has been worried sick about me and then she gets ill…i definately think its stress related

I had my ovaries out in july, mum due to soon…

In some ways i understand your daughter, i like working and going out with friends without the constant BC, but at other times i panic and come on here as i dont want mum to know how scared i am about the future as if anything happens to her or i ive no one to take my kids…funny they love Tracey Beaker! ( tv show about a childrens home)…

I think im more emotional and moody and fatigued since oophrectomy…

Life moves on, everyday issues are still there, but hopefully as we get to the 2 year point the good days will outway the bad. Btw my mums best friend told me how worried and upset about me over the years, i didnt realise how much, as she was so strong for me and helps with the kids soo much…things with your daughter will get better after all the ops are over.

Good luck for the future,

jill

I’m 2 weeks post diagnosis on Oct 5th and really thought I could draw a line under things this time last year. However, I totally misjudged the situation and it’s taken me till now to get back to any normality. I’ve had 5 sessions of counselling via my clinic and have felt much better since the clinic got the menopause symptoms under control for me. I get discharged from counselling at the end of next month and feel very ready to move on now. I decided on Sunday I didn’t want to dwell on this any more - things to do with moving on often seem to come to me in a bit of a blinding flash, it’s a very strange feeling. I know I keep going on about the benefits of this, but I also took up yoga and meditation and try to fit time into the day for one or the other; I have also joined a yoga class first thing on a Monday morning which sets me up for the week. As we work from home I feel very lucky to be able to fit this in.

I don’t think it helps when you are on long term treatments, in my case Herceptin which dragged everything on until May nearly a year after chemo. I know a few ladies who are on Tamoxifen and it makes things drag on for them too.

Believe me, you will get there.

Dear lotus what a horrific time you are having.I am 64 and have a 34 yr old daughter who is pregnant with her second child.Her first was born just before my dx in 2006 and she really couldnt cope.She doesnt want to believe that the end of treatment doesnt result in any ‘All Clear’.I cant begin to imagine how you are coping but I am sure that in time your old closeness will come back once you are both a bit further from treatment and the immediate stuff is over.All the very best to both of you.Love Vx

Hi all,

How kind of you to share you thoughts with me. Today I managed to get on with a few things, all be it with a heavy heart. I have also planned my op for having my ovaries out, may as well get on with it, I think that will be next month- yipee!! My sister has taken the lead with my daughter in aussie, help is on its way.
After looking through this cite, I can see that what I feel is all quite normal, given the circumstances, this disease really does shatter lives. I had no idea at the start of this whole experience just how devastating this is. i know that one day I will start to look forward and maybe lead a totally different life, but at the moment, I’m just reflecting.
Thanks to everyone.
much love
Claire

Apologies - I should have said I was 2 years post diagnosis, not 2 weeks.

Hi all, an interesting and very moving thread this one because it makes you realise that the dreaded BC can strike at any time, and just because someone you know is going through it, doesn’t mean you won’t be either- if you get my drift!
I was diagnosed Nov 04 aged 34, as the youngest and only childless member of my family, so me getting BC was a big shock, as there was no history of it anywhere in our lot. 6 months later my 1st cousin was diagnosed, aged 42, with the same type of BC. It all seemed like too much of a coincidence to just be chance.
I wouldn’t want to be glib about BC at all but our situation did have some positives. It brought us much closer as cousins, and it made our mums (who are sisters) really reach out to each other and know there was someone there who knew how the other felt.
We also both went through similar treatments being among the first patients to have herceptin- she went private, I fought my PCT and had a generous donation from Barbara Clarke.
The outcomes? We’re both well and reconstructed! But she seems to have got on with things more than me- I still get very miserable about what has happened and think about it a lot. I have had counselling, but I do think different people always deal with this stuff in different ways, and if you’re going through this with someone else, that difference is even more obvious. Its also very hard for those around us to hold our trauma and upset, especially if they have their own. Which is where trained counsellors come in…
Just a thought- I’m sure you’ll do the right thing. Best wishes to you and your daughter.